Here’s the cake that pleases both sides of the aisle, a cake of compromise, perhaps, but also true to its convictions. Yellow cake lovers will be smitten with the moist, springy texture. They’ll appreciate the vanilla and hint of almond. And chocolate lover will adore the warm and cozy pan frosting that you pour over the cake right in the pan. It tastes like fudge . . . except better!
- lace a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Mist a 13 × 9-inch metal baking pan with oil and set the pan aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cake mix and pudding mix. Add the eggs, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and almond extract, if using. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended, about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when gently pressed in the middle, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Pour the warm frosting over the top of the cake, smoothing it out quickly with a long metal spatula. If decorating with sprinkles, add them now. Let the cake rest at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving from the pan. Store, lightly covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and milk. Stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, 3 to 4 minutes. Let it boil for 1 minute, stirring to make sure all the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips, cocoa, vanilla, and salt.
- Continue to stir until the chocolate has melted and the icing is smooth and satiny, 3 to 4 minutes. Use immediately because the icing sets up quickly.